Development of Little Mountain Housing complex unlikely
A BC Housing spokesperson has confirmed that a phased development of the Little Mountain Housing complex on Main Street, between 33rd and 37th avenues, probably won’t be possible.
“It’s something we haven’t ruled out, but it’s unlikely that’s going to happen, because the site has to be prepared for the whole redevelopment process,” Sam Rainboth told the Georgia Straight by phone on May 2.
This would mean that the remaining 50 or so residents who are hoping to stay in the six-hectare property might have to move out before the 224 social-housing units are demolished.
On May 7, BC Housing announced that Holborn Properties had won a competition to develop the site into a mix of market and social housing. According to a news release issued that day, all of the existing 224 social-housing units on the site will be replaced, and residents will have the option of returning after these units are built. Holborn spokesperson Sheryl Lim didn’t return a call by deadline.
Housing activist Ned Jacobs has been arguing that because development likely won’t start until the spring of 2010, the vacant units should be used to house people and ease the homelessness problem in Greater Vancouver. The Little Mountain Housing issue has inspired weekly protests across Vancouver, which have spread through the province.
Vancouver-Kensington NDP MLA David Chudnovsky noted that the provincial government hasn’t made any definitive announcement as to how many housing units will be put up on the property. The land is currently zoned to allow 1,000 units in buildings no higher than four storeys.
Little Mountain Housing has been home to residents like Ingrid Steenhuisen. She currently takes care of her 75-year-old mother, who has occupied the same unit for 44 years. “Mom doesn’t want to move,” Steenhuisen told the Straight.